Can I Recycle That: Multi-layer packaging

Answer: No!

Multi-layer packaging, such as the container shown below, is not recyclable in Tulsa. Here is a post all about the disadvantages of multi-layer packaging. For some reason, organic brands have begun to package foods like beans and soups in these multi-layer boxes, rather than the traditional can. I’ll conduct more research and try to follow up with a post about why this is. If you know, please comment below. My guess is that it has something to do with BPA content of cans vs. the multilayer box.

For beans, the zero waste option is to buy them in bulk (and use a fabric, reusable bag to contain and transport them rather than the plastic bags provided at the grocery store). If you must buy pre-cooked beans, the next best thing is to buy a can because cans are recyclable in Tulsa (the entire can, including its lid).


4 thoughts on “Can I Recycle That: Multi-layer packaging

  1. You are wrong. Your photo shows a TetraPak/SIG beverage carton and they are perfectly recyclable everywhere in the world. Second the beverage carton has nothing to do with a multi-layer flexible packaging as I wrote about in my article you refer to. If you like to argue the pitfalls of recycling you have to be more accurate. Do more research, please.


    1. Thanks for your comment, Anton. I am not wrong, this container is not recyclable in the City of Tulsa. I have actually spoken with my local recycler about it. This analysis does not apply to the recyclability of this container elsewhere in the world. Although, the container itself states it is not recycled in all communities and that I should check locally prior to disposal. I am not arguing the pitfalls of recycling, as you say–the opposite, actually. I am attempting to provide my community with more information about what can and cannot be recycled here so we may maximize our recycling potential. I will remove the link to your article if you wish. I linked it because it was one of the only online resources I could find showing and explaining packaging that is multi-layer. If you care to share, I would enjoy hearing more from you about the type of packaging I have depicted and any other details you think are pertinent. Are there different types of multi-layer cartons, some recyclable and some not? What type of technology do some communities have that make this recyclable only in certain areas?


      1. I see your point and sorry, I didn’t read properly that you were talking exclusively about Tulsa.
        Still the photo is a bit confusing. Better to use a photo of flexible packaging/pouches. A beverage carton is a completely different matter.
        Recycling in the USA, speaking in general terms, is all coming back to selective collection of household waste (curb collection). You have to contact Tetra Pak USA to find out which community close to Tulsa has a recycling facility (selective collection) of beverage cartons and indeed recycling of multi-layer flexible packaging (pouches, wraps) is non-existent in the USA.
        I developed a recycling process for this packaging format and an American entrepreneur wanted to build the plant in Phoenix/AZ, but unfortunately couldn’t find and raise the financial funds. Read my article: From Post-Consumer Flexible Packaging to a Durable Consumer Product
        I wrote various articles about recycling and zero-waste packaging. One of the most successful was: Brazil’s Small-Scale Business Model For Recycling Post-Consumer Tetra Paks It prides me that this article set many a person all over the world to engage in starting a small recycling plant for beverage cartons.
        Tulsa with its 400K population is large enough to set up a small plant for beverage cartons. The initial investment isn’t high. It’s the organisation that counts.
        BTW. About zero-waste packaging with the holiday season coming up (look at the wrapping paper for presents), this article might be interesting for your blog:
        Zero-Waste With Plantable Packaging
        Success with your blog


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